Academic writing often requires students to use arguments and persuasion, which means that they need to convince the audience of their logical point of view on a specific debatable topic. Basically, a persuasive thesis statement is a single sentence in the introduction that states a personal opinion and comes after background information about the chosen issue. It acts as a brief summary of your stance in the entire debate and helps readers understand what you’ll write about in the rest of your persuasive essay. Assignment prompts with a persuasive thesis usually ask you to do the following:
- Take a certain position on a given issue;
- Show the cause and the effect;
- Interpret or analyze;
- Compare and contrast.
Writing a strong thesis can be a true challenge for many students. However, this task is easy if you learn what to do.
The persuasive statement definition
In academic writing, a thesis is a controlling idea described in a brief sentence, which determines the central purpose of an essay. This is where you state the main argument about a given subject and describe how you’ll prove your stance. It’s quite a specific statement to readers about what you’ll argue. Avoid stating any supporting evidence or examples in a persuasive thesis.
The main persuasive statement purposes
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A thesis is quite helpful for both you and the audience because it serve the following purposes:
- Helping you clarify major ideas and identify your focus;
- Allowing you to make the necessary changes based on arguments and evidence;
- Offering a hook for further topic sentences;
- Providing your persuasive essay with a major point and unified structure;
- Keeping all readers focused on the main argument;
- Serving as a map to follow through the entire essay;
- Engaging the audience in your ideas and arguments;
- Signaling to readers important facts.
A thesis is the main organizational principle of your essay and it always appears in its introduction. It can’t be a mere statement of any fact because it’s a strong claim, idea, and interpretation that other people can dispute. Your basic goal is to persuade readers that your argument is valid through the use of relevant examples and analysis.
Effective ways to develop a strong statement
A persuasive thesis is the most important part of essay writing, so you need to follow helpful guidelines before you get started. For example, spend some time on reading relevant articles and other sources to gather updated background information about the chosen issue. Evaluate interesting arguments and findings of other authors to determine the strongest and most convincing ones. Look for the ones that have a lot of credibility because they can help you write a convincing persuasive thesis statement. Reading relevant research will allow you to choose the right position and make a well-informed and strong argument in your paper. Critically weighing and understanding the ideas of other writers can guide you to developing a logical and clear thesis.
Basic steps to making a strong statement
First, read relevant sources, compare information in them, and answer simple questions, such as:
- Do they conflict with each other?
- What are their main points?
Avoid simply summarizing the claims of sources because you should look for the key motivation behind motives. Next, draft a thesis that will be further refined because you may find new information as you do your research and write a persuasive essay. Take the other side into account because all arguments have two sides. You can easily improve your statement by considering and refuting counterarguments.
Stay concise and clear when writing your thesis because readers won’t care if it sounds too vague. Although it’s important to grab their attention as fast as possible, asking questions is different from making a strong statement. Your basic task is to persuade them by offering a concise and clear concept that can explain both why and how. Although you need to prove your point, forcing your will on the audience is a bad idea, so avoid being confrontational.
Why look for a pattern and find a focus
Make a statement that explores the most important aspect of your topic to let it say something new about a given matter. Once you determine a general focus, you should search for an interesting pattern by going back and looking closely at the evidence that you have. This is how you’ll examine supporting facts, identify patterns, develop a strong argument, and make unique conclusions.
Helpful strategies for making a persuasive statement
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If you feel stuck, use these effective strategies to make a strong statement in persuasive papers:
- If assignment prompts ask you to answer a given question, feel free to turn it into an assertion and provide reasoning for your personal opinion;
- Write a brief sentence to summarize the main idea of the entire paper that you want to write;
- Use a specific formula to make a working statement that can be revised later;
- Make a list of relevant ideas that can be included in a persuasive essay and determine how to group them under a few different headings.
Important thesis statement points to remember
First, you need to make it debatable because there’s no point in writing any persuasive paper if other people agree with your opinion. Persuasive statements must provide some room for a possible debate and disagreement.
Include only one controlling argument
A good thesis always has a single controlling or major argument. It’s possible to discuss all supporting details or facts in depth in other paragraphs that follow an opening section of your persuasive paper.
Make it clear, concise, and specific
A persuasive thesis statement must be specific, not general, to provide a clear focus on the main argument. Use your clear language and avoid writing too many words in it because your statement should be clear enough to let readers know what your personal stance is. Ensure that there’s no confusion, your position is quite clear, and a thesis contains the minimal number of words. In general, academic writing requires students to be concise and clear, but this requirement is even more important when dealing with a thesis. It allows you to write a focused persuasive paper and let the audience know what to expect next. With enough practice, you’ll learn to make strong statements and bring the necessary focus to your persuasive writing.
Why make a strong argument
Your thesis is defenseless if you fail to prove that the main argument can hold up under scrutiny. Readers expect you to provide enough evidence to support it through the use of such sources as:
- Primary sources, including diaries, letters, newspapers, and others;
- Secondary sources, like relevant books and articles.
How to use available evidence
When choosing the best proofs from available sources, ensure that they all address your persuasive thesis. Use the evidence that the audience will believe is 100% credible. That’s why you need to sort all available sources of information to choose the clearest and fairest ones. Identify any possible shortcomings and biases in any proof that you want to use in your persuasive paper. Use strong evidence to avoid generalizations and address opposing points of view.
What if you feel stuck?
If you still have trouble getting started, use some effective techniques that will help you make a working thesis statement. For instance, it’s advisable to start with the purpose statement that can be turned into a strong persuasive thesis later. Read assignment prompts to identify a specific question and turn it into your assertion while providing the audience with logical reasoning why it’s true. Write a short sentence to summarize your key idea that you want to expand in your persuasive paper. Finally, make a list of suitable facts that you prefer to include in it and try to group them.
What to consider when drafting your initial thesis
The initial statement that you make after using any of the above-mentioned techniques can serve you as an effective framework for planning and writing your persuasive essay. However, it’s not specific enough for a final version. At the initial stages of academic writing, a thesis can be rough and serves students as a helpful planning tool.
As you keep writing your paper, you may find the evidence that doesn’t fit a working or initial thesis. Besides, you may reach a deeper insight of the chosen topic while doing your in-depth research and find that your thesis must be more complex to match the facts that you’ll use. You can omit or reject some of them to keep your readers focused and the entire persuasive paper cohesive. Another effective solution is to revise a working thesis to match the insights and facts that you want to discuss. Read a draft attentively to note major ideas and conclusions that prove and support your opinion.
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